Sundry of oppression in Kashmir
The beautiful Valley of Kashmir has stood the blend of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists who live with harmony and tranquility since ages. But since the eruption of armed struggle in 1990s this togetherness has been made the epicenter and the means of warfare that often gives rise to religious intolerance [in Jammu] and eventually halts the advancement and progress in general.
This diversity even resulted in the contention between the two nuclear powers and longtime rivals [India and Pakistan]—spilled a lot of blood over it. The tug of war has not only alienated, and atomised the people of Kashmir from public sphere but their political space was seriously damaged. Thus the price of this deliberate rivalry is beared by none but the dwellers of the valley [particularly the people]. No doubt, a lot of people had worked hard to emancipate the valley out of this turbulence and we can’t deny or shun the contribution and grace of those who strived day in and day out for this cause at their levels of capabilities. However, ingratitude to the conscience keepers who remain arrogant and dumb at the gory plight of Kashmir and Kashmiris, and to those who always tried to create false narratives means of support that gave the means of illegitimate justification to the presence of above half a million soldiers in the state. The very presence of armed force in huge numbers is itself a disease that perpetrates every possible atrocity.
The crimes that these ‘security forces’ do are wide rage, like mercilessly tortured, raped, and blinded and apprehended a countless Muslims especially youth. The daily routine of counter insurgency operations had led to the vandalization of property both house hold and horticulture as well as of agriculture. Hence there is planned attempt that are consistently pushing the valley towards the economic backwardness. World’s largest self-proclaiming democracy is decimating the people at the cost of democracy. The roots of this conflict were stemmed the moment Dogras brought it from the British by paying lump sum to British in 1846, at the treaty of Amritsar [Sale deed].
The Alien rule, as argued by the Prem Nath Bazaz, [The people of Kashmir consider the Maharaja as an alien ruler and they have always considered Jammu as their home and Kashmir as conquered country]. The people mostly Muslims were supressed as eloquently put it by Arthur Brinckman, “Justice is, Thus alien to him (Maharaja of Kashmir) and injustice lies at the door. His example has followed by his ministers, and there appears no end to the fraud and treachery”. The predicament of people of Kashmir in post 1947 didn’t change. The reason was obvious that Delhi showed least democratic values and ruled the state through proxies and central authorities. They had allowed the local tyrants to repress and oppress the people, the voice of protest and mere independence views were mown down by police firing. Same oppression is now in ugly face of draconian laws like AFSPA, which shamelessly give impunity to the criminal soldiers.
New narratives of violence and state coercion has become common these days in Kashmir and authorities send anybody to prison [Youth in particular], just of allegation of stone pelting. These youths are slapped with PSA and are jailed for years that not only harmed their health but their career also. After the gruesome criminalization of public protest by inhumane and anti-democratic laws, how can India expect Kashmiri resistance exclusively non-violent and democratic? Here I am reminded of the couplet of Habib Jalib “Zalum rahay aur amun be hoo–Kya mumkin hai tum he Kahoo.”
Another severe and subtle form of repression is intellectual treachery as argued by Hameeda Nayeem by so called liberals who mystify the right of people with the elections. However, elections are meant to put time bound government in place which could sort out and reconciliate the day to day needs [Bijli, Sadak aur Makkaan]. The state views the resistance as “is replete with islamophobia”. These so called Indian liberals have also falsely justified their control on the ground of National security or law and order problem. On the other hand the people of the valley are so sensitive, they never endure injustice done either to them or any community in the world, and they raise voice against it.
In fact there are two conundrums; one is Kashmir issue and another is issues of Kashmir both can be settled by reconciliation. But the precondition of the reconciliation needs justice upon which the edifice of democracy stands. Justice is not to gain the lost confidence of people; but it is now genie out of bottle and to fulfil the political aspirations of self-determination. It is what people demand then and now.
Author is studying Political Science at Aligarh Muslim University. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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